Discomfort For A Cause?

I have a feeling that this is going to be an awesome weekend, for a number of reasons.  The primary one?  I’m taking Friday off from work, for no better reason than because I want to and I can (boss-approved too).  The other reason?  I have plans for this weekend!

No, not date type plans.  I’d have to get out more to find a guy to date for that to happen.  No, this weekend, I’m planning on starting the first pass of editing for Possession.  By then, it’ll have been two weeks since I finished writing the first draft and I haven’t even opened the file since writing The End.  I’m pretty proud of that, as it’s about twice the amount of time I left the second draft of Bound in the drawer.  We won’t even discuss how quickly I dove back into that first draft.  That’s not to say I haven’t been itching to dig into editing Possession, but I’ve been a marvel (okay, relative marvel) of self-control this time.  I can feel it slipping though, so I’m trying to maintain my dignity.  It will also serve to keep me from reminding anyone of things I might be waiting (semi)patiently for.  Oops, I think that was me slipping again.

I’m trying to be good here, really.  I’m just not good at it, but you should give me at least a few points for effort.

In the meantime, I’m still working away at the outline for The Nine, which is coming together.  The story is mostly there, with me pretty much trying to figure out one patch.  I have the ending fairly well visualized at this point, unlike Possession, but I’ve been thinking and mulling over the ending of the trilogy since I started editing Bound’s second draft, so I suppose that shouldn’t be any surprise even to me.

I also had a few more ideas toward Necromantic and I’m trying to feel out the story behind a new idea that’s mostly setting/world/society at the moment.  Even the main character is a bit hazy at this point, but that might be because of the inspiration for it.  This idea involves a society that spends a shocking amount of it’s time wearing venetian type masks.  I won’t go into it too much, but that’s the new entry on the Project Status page, Masques.  So I haven’t been idle on the idea front either, but then I think most people figure out quickly that I am almost never idle there.

All that aside, I think I need to work toward a decision regarding the large elephant that seems to have taken up residence in my apartment. How it got up the stair, let alone through the door, I don’t know. You see, I’m still very much up in the air on what to do with Bound when I decide I’m done editing and revising it (not when I decide it’s perfect, because it never will be, no such thing, not to any writer I have ever known).  I still like the idea of self-publishing it as an ebook, but the way people tend to think of self-published authors is a bit intimidating.  I’m not sure if I’m good enough to stand out in the sea of dreck out there.  In some ways I agree with the idea that it’s too easy to publish now and worry if it’s good enough later (if some of these people even worry about it at all).  I don’t want to be that, and while I don’t think that I am doing that, I’d be lying if I said I don’t wonder now and then.  I doubt that the people who do such things realize that’s what they’re doing, so how am I supposed to know if I’m just deluding myself?

Also, I am terrible about self-promotion.  Just yesterday, someone at work sent out an email specifically to tell my boss (and several other people) that I did something pretty awesome that took me a while to do, because she knew I would never toot my own horn like that.  I thanked her for that today, but it made me think about whether I would be able to get over that in order to promote my own writing.  I rarely think my work is awesome in any arena, and every time I think about saying I did great on something, this voice in the back of my head asks if I’m really sure about that opinion, and so in a fit of self-doubt, I say nothing instead.  Not good for promoting my book, and it’s really part of my job as a writer to do that.

Part of me wants to say that if my book is any good, people will find it and enjoy it, and maybe share it, but I have some doubts that it’s so simple as that.  It’s kind of like the idea that if my book is good, it won’t be a problem to get it published traditionally. Hahaha.  Right, because publishers never reject good manuscripts and/or ones that go on to be successful later.  Pardon the lake of sarcasm, I’ll have someone clean that up.  I know that it would be foolish to count on either luck or even quality alone to make a book successful, and so I have to wonder if I’m even up to the task of making it successful on my own.  I have trouble just selling myself in an interview for a job, and that’s really just selling myself to one or two people most of the time.  How am I supposed to manage it for all the potential readers who (I hope) might enjoy my book?

I’m not even sure if I’m looking for advice here or just taking an excuse to whine.  I will probably go with self-publishing anyway, partly because I want to try it, partly because I’ve gotten this far with my writing specifically by pushing myself outside my comfort zone.  Also, I think that, if I can learn things from the experience about subjects like self-promotion, it’ll stand me in good stead down the road, whether I decide it was a mistake to publish that way after all and go Trad-pub or continue merrily down that road.  Given I have no shortage of ideas, I suspect I have little (or less) to lose by trying it out.

Okay, now that I’m done (I think ) whining about the dilemma of how to publish a novel I’m probably not done editing/revising, let’s move on to the picture of the day.  I keep meaning to post this one, only to get distracted by some other pretty picture.  This is from spring last year, in downtown Vancouver.  There are a lot of flower beds and gardens in this city.  It makes me happy.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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14 Responses to Discomfort For A Cause?

  1. I promise promise promise to comprise some semblance of editorial for you and send them 🙂

  2. 4amWriter says:

    Sure, you have a date…with your book! 🙂 I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend when you haven’t been in the thick of that book for a while.

    Have fun.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to working on it, even though I know it needs real work, being a first draft. But I enjoy editing as much as I enjoy writing, outlining, notes, all of it. That seems to put me in the minority among writers, but that’s okay. It works for me.

  3. Peggy Isaacs says:

    Loved this post. I also love this photograph. Beautiful. It makes me want to take a trip down to our local arboretum for Dallas Blooms. I will have to do that soon.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks! I think that’s one of my favourite things about both photography and writing, being able to share a captured moment with people, and the things it reminds them of. I’m really starting to get in the mood for spring to hit fully here, so I can spend some of my time shooting again.

  4. Em says:

    I’m planning on diving into the editorial for you over the next few days as well. I promise. Once baby comes though, you might be waiting a while….

    (also, subtlety cloak? You?)

    Hope you enjoy your writing weekend!

  5. One of the hardest things for me to do is to ‘let that draft rest.’ I applaud you for waiting the two weeks that you did. I’ve learned how important this is by taking a 2-year hiatis from one novel (that went off into left space or something) by writing another novel. Somewhere during that two years, I figured out the plot of the first novel. Now I’m giving my second novel a much needed, desperate rest while I rewrite the first. Now I can see things about the second novel that need improvement, because I’m so far removed from it. A lot of jibberish that all means, good for you! Give it a rest. and next time give it a longer rest – hard as that is. Happy editing tomorrow!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks! And you’re right, sometimes what we need in order to see the problem is time away, time to let our subconscious work at the problem without us interfering. Believe me, I’ve been through it myself. I’m glad that’s worked out for you 🙂

  6. quix689 says:

    Obviously since I’ve never read any of your fiction, I can’t say for certain that your work is good enough to stand apart from the crap out there, but I can say that the way you talk about your writing has me convinced that it is. Your writing style on here is clear and intelligent and interesting, and if your novels are anywhere near as good as your blog posts, I think you’ll be fine. I’ve read a lot of forum posts from people who are rushing to publish books, and their posts are riddled with errors, and they seem to care more about publishing than writing.

    You’ve taken the time to write and rewrite your novels. You’ve already sent the first one out to test readers. Heck, the way you talk about your characters alone makes me really want you to publish the first one just so I can see what you’re talking about. Although I will be honest – the mere fact that you write in complete (and properly punctuated) sentences already puts you head and shoulders above a lot of the other writers I’ve seen. 😀

    • Julie says:

      Thank you! I really appreciate the kind words. I know exactly what you mean about people who seem to care more about publishing than writing. Sometimes I wonder if they believe that quality doesn’t matter, or if they just think that as long as they publish, the money will roll in. I prefer to take the long view of things. I think that sometimes you only get one shot to win a reader over. I have read books that made me swear I would never read that author again. Sometimes it’s errors, sometimes it’s the style of their writing. Once it was a beautiful book with an ending that screamed “I don’t know how to end it, so I’ll just do something abrupt and nonsensical.” That last one really happened to me and it was painful :p My thoughts from these and other experiences is that it can be hard enough to get a reader to give you a chance as a new author, that you shouldn’t potentially ruin that chance with a book that isn’t the best you can do. This doesn’t mean I don’t believe I’ll get better as I write more, something I’m already noticing as I work my way through the trilogy, but it does mean that I have to be patient and do the work to make it my best at that time. I want them to enjoy it enough to be ready and waiting for book 2, and so on. That’s how a writer builds a career, rather than a single publication, at least so I believe.

      Your comments are very touching, and you’ve definitely made me smile with it. I promise, I will announce when Bound goes out to the world (I might hide in my closet in fear for a few moments first though, before deciding that’s just stupid). I have to tell you, I’m not always as brave as I sound in my posts, but I’m trying to push myself (thus this particular post).

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